Trump says he can be arrested on Tuesday, calls on supporters to protest

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on education while holding a campaign rally with supporters March 13, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa, USA.

Jonathan Ernest | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump said in a social media post Saturday that he expects to be arrested Tuesday as a New York grand jury probes his connection to a hush money payment to a porn star.

Trump said he learned of his alleged impending arrest through leaks from the “corrupt” Manhattan Attorney’s Office. He called on his supporters to protest on his behalf — a call that harks back to the time when the former president encouraged thousands to flock to Washington, DC, during the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising.

“The far and far leading Republican nominee and former President of the United States will be arrested Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote on his social media page Truth Social early Saturday morning. “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION!”

In another emphatic post Saturday afternoon, Trump sought to further strengthen his base.

“WE JUST CANNOT LET THIS GO ANY MORE,” he wrote. “They are killing our nation while we sit back and watch. We must save America! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”

A grand jury has heard testimony related to the 2016 Stormy Daniels payout in Lower Manhattan State Criminal Court, but no public announcements have been made about when or if Trump will be charged. Law enforcement agencies across New York have taken precautions in case the former president faces criminal charges.

Trump’s attorney Joseph Tacopina was not briefed on Tuesday about the possibility of Trump’s arrest.

“No one is telling us anything, which is very frustrating,” Tacopina told CNBC. “President Trump is basing his response on press reports and the fact that this is a political prosecution and the prosecution is leaking things to the press instead of communicating to the attorneys as they should.”

If impeached, Trump, a 2024 Republican presidential nominee, would become the first former president to be prosecuted.

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Saturday shared a tweet in support of Trump, calling the district attorney a “radical” in a quest for “political revenge” against the former president.

“I direct the appropriate committees to immediately investigate whether federal funds are being used to undermine our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated law enforcement,” he wrote in the tweet.

The Manhattan Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

– CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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